What To Do When Water Damage Happens

July 12, 2018
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Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you will experience water damage in your home or business. Don't panic, make sure everyone is safe, call your insurance broker's claims line (our 24-hour claims number is 1-800-267-3542) and follow these steps:

  • ‍Do not touch electrical wires, appliances, or devices
  • If the sanitary sewer backs up into your basement, don't flush the toilet or turn on any taps, even if you have installed a backwater valve. This will only cause further flooding.
  • Separate damaged property from undamaged property, and prepare an inventory of what has been lost or damaged.
  • Take photographs of damaged property. If the property is covered, your insurance company may reimburse you for the cost of developing the photos.
  • Keep receipts of any clean up costs incurred (ie. wet/dry vacuum rentals, cleaning supplies, etc.
Tips for preventing water damage outdoors
  • ‍Check your eaves troughs and downspouts every spring and fall to ensure that they are not blocked
  • Downspouts should discharge at least 3 feet from the side of your home or business, away from your neighbours property
  • Dependent on municipality approval, disconnect any downspouts that are connected to the sewer system
  • Install window wells on basement windows at or near ground level
  • Have a licensed professional check your weeping tiles in case they are damaged or blocked
  • Older clay piping can get blocked with tree roots and water can get into your property. Consider having them replaced with metal, PVC, or ABS pipes.
Tips for preventing water damage indoors
  • ‍Have a licensed plumbing professional install an inline backwater valve to help prevent sewer backup. Check with your municipality regarding any permits required or by-laws that may exist
  • Install a sump pump to prevent ground water from entering your basement. Check the sump regularly to make sure it is functioning properly. If you choose to install an electric sump pump, consider installing a battery operated back up in the event of a power outage
  • Install wire mesh or braided hoses on washing machines and dishwashers to protect from leakage or rupture
  • Keep your drains and toilets free of household grease and other foreign objects that can cause blockage
  • Check with your municipality to see if they offer plumbing inspection services or a subsidy for installing a sump pump or backwater valve
  • Check with Environment Canada's "Public Weather Alerts" for the latest updates on weather warnings and watches.

Source: RSA Insurance